China-Train-feat

So Long Sumerian

After packing up our small apartment and checking out, we headed to Sumerian Coffee for one more visit. This has become our local, even though it always involves a metro ride and a half-kilometre walk. The atmosphere is great, the staff are always cheery and friendly, the two dogs that run around the cafe are adorable, and the coffee is exceptional. Add in the Egghead Bagels and Strictly Cookies they serve, and why would you go anywhere else?

Just when we thought we couldn’t have liked them more, there’s this:

I wanted to bring some beans with us to Hong Kong, but they had just run out of the variety I chose. So, Adam offered to roast a batch for us while we went out and got lunch. That’s some great customer service!

We now have two bags of specially roasted Tanzanian coffee that was still warm when we picked it up. Thanks Adam and everyone at Sumerian. You made our stay in Shanghai extra special, and your coffee made sure I was ready to face each morning.

Boxed In Boxcars

After a long wait in line and a hectic check-in, during which we were seriously questioning the sanity of train travel, we are now in our berth headed towards Hong Kong.

Jane’s note: Sorry about the pictures in this post. It was so cramped I couldn’t really get my camera out, so these are all stealth iPhone shots.

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We have a four-person sleeper that for some reason is housing five people. Two women are sharing a bottom bunk, and we have deduced that one has a ticket for a hard seat rather than a sleeper. She’s bunking in with her friend so she can get some sleep.

Considering foreigners pay more for train tickets than locals it is slightly annoying that this is happening in our cabin, but we’ll make the best out of it that we can. In a cramped space like this, it’s not ideal, but no one seems to mind but us.

The bunks are a bit snug for two.

The bunks are a bit snug for two.

The train is rocking and rolling and chugging and clunking its way 1500 km south to Hong Kong.

Jane’s note: In case you have romantic ideas about the smooth lulling motion of sleeper trains, let me disabuse you of those notions. This is the second sleeper we’ve been on – the first was in Egypt several years ago. On both, the forward motion has been a nasty, jerking, crunching kind of sway. The motion is random, ensuring that as soon as you fall asleep you are awoken by earthquake-style shaking.

Despite the journey being non-stop it takes 18 hours for us to arrive at Hung Hom station. Fortunately our beds are fairly comfortable and we have earplugs.

Hopefully we’ll both be able to sleep.  

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3 Comments

  1. […] She pounded on my cranium for a minute or so with the sides of her hands, twisted my neck this way and that, and yanked hard on my skull a couple of times. Vietnamese massage is about as relaxing as a Chinese overnight train. […]

  2. Luciano says:

    Thinking of you guys! Ciao from Italy. Lulufrala

    • Stephen says:

      Happy New Year Luciano – so nice to hear from you, hope your newly expanded family are keeping you happy, busy, and smiling. Lots of love!